As we continue our perusal of Sacred Music, we turn to Guillaume de Machaut, the first known composer to write music for the entire Ordinary of the Mass. In this piece, entitled, Messe de Nostre Dame, he has dedicated his polyphonic composition with intrumental obbligato to Our Lady.
This mass was written during the reign of Pope Urban V, when Charles V was King of France.
It’s similarities with Gregorian Chant are undeniable, but clearly he has incorporated the style of singing for secular pieces into his work. This Mass was written before 1365 A.D., that is, just a few years after the Black Death had ravaged the continent and killed more than a third of the population. This might explain why he has a secular style of singing in this piece, because the monasteries had been emptied of choir monks. Read more about this mass, here.
FromRome.Info features a differing piece of Sacred Music from the treasure of Catholic History, each day at 5 P.M., Rome time, to edify our readers in the wonders and beauty of Catholic music throughout the ages.